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Connie Norman

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Clay Arts Vegas Workshop – Ceramic Arts Daily & Click!

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

 

I’m frantically getting ready for my solo show at Clay Arts Vegas.  My production of pots has really slowed down now that Vander is getting older, and that he is more involved with activities.  And I’m getting older it’s getting harder to burn the midnight oil and get up early to go to work.  I hope with this kiln load everything turns out.  Keep your fingers crossed!

My show opens with a 2 day workshop.  I’ll be showing my approach to surface design.  It’s March 29 and 30 at Clay Arts Vegas.  Make the jump their website for more information.

Daily Clay App

Last night I got a sweet surprise when I opened my favorite Smartphone App Daily Clay and saw my vessel!  I love The Daily Clay App!  Well, let’s face it I’m a clay Geek!  I check my Clay App almost everyday!  But today it was all worthwhile!  If you have a smartphone and you’re a clay geek here is the link.  I know it’s an Apple App for sure, I don’t know about Droid.  Here’s the link about the App from Ceramic Arts Daily.

Lastly, this weekend I’m going to Laramie for Click: A Weekend For Wyoming Artists.  It’s a conference to help build the Wyoming Artist community and careers.  Our state is so big and everyone is so far apart that it’s great we have these conferences.  I’m sitting a panel called Pathways to Professionalism as Mary Jane Edwards as the moderator.  Mary Jane is the Executive Director of Jentel.  It’s an artist’s residency program in Banner Wyoming.  When I met Mary Jane years ago she was the president of NCECA.  Hopefully I will have some decent information to contribute to the panel discussions, my panel discussion partners are Elaine O. Henry and Marjorie Vecchio.  Elaine is the editor of Ceramics: Art and Perception and Ceramics TECHNICAL., and Marjorie is a photographer and independent curator. 

Thank you for stopping by the blog and taking time out or your day to read.  We love comments!

Miss July Again!!???!!!??

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Wow!  I never thought I could be Miss July twice!  But once again I can call myself Miss July 2013.  (click here to see Miss July 2012) One of my vases has been chosen to be in the 2013 Potters Council General Collection Calendar!!  I’m thrilled to be published with so many beautiful pots; I hope you take some time to check out all the calendars, there are six calendars in all.  If I wasn’t in the General Collection Calendar I would have a really hard time choosing which calendar to buy.   But now I know what I’m getting everyone for Christmas!  And you guessed it my vessel is July!

 

I wrote an article for School Arts Magazine.  It is featured in the December’s 2012 issue.   It’s a lesson that I have taught at Anderson Ranch Arts Center and in my classroom at Carey Jr. High.  The age group that I worked at the Ranch was 5th and 6th graders, and the sea creatures came out rather well.  But the ones pictured in the article are from my classroom at Carey.  I always think I should write up my lessons but I can’t even keep up with my blog, and the writing I do for my blog is usually just super quick notes that I throw up as a post.  So, I am proud of myself of getting on lesson written up and published.  Hopefully I’ll do it again.  If you want a bigger image of the article follow this link here. 

The Best of 500 Ceramics: Celebrating a Decade in Clay

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

 

About a year ago I was asked to be one to the jurors for The Best of 500 Ceramics: Celebrating a Decade in Clay.  This is a giant milestone for me, I was thrilled to be juried into 500 Vases, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be published in a decade book  of ceramics, but to be asked to help pick the work that went in to it.  In my usual manner I said, “Yes, I would love to do that!”  But, I didn’t think about how hard it would be to comb through the last ten years of Lark’s 500 Series books on Ceramics.  My assignment was to choose five of my favorites and write a few words.  I set out with my sticky notes and soon I had around hundreds of little tabs sticking out the all the books.  This was going to be a daunting task, and I haven’t even started writing yet.  Well, I as you can see I did finally did get my selections down to five and I did manage to write a few words on each.  I am honored to be asked to be part of The Best of 500 Ceramics, not only to have two of my images in the book, but to have my very top five choices included with my thoughts of the each work.  Yes, this was an extraordinary milestone for me!

Here is what Lark Books had on their website about The Best of 500 Ceramics.

“Rather than simply pick and choose our favorites from the past decade, we invited many of the best jurors and artists in the field to select their favorites for The Best of 500 Ceramics. We also encouraged jurors to pen a few words on why they thought a particular piece was the best of the best. The result is a book with a layer of thought and contemplation new to the 500 series. For many artists, having a prominent figure in the field comment upon their work was one of the most exciting parts of this project.”

 

Cheyenne Chapman Rudolph

Wesley Anderegg

Jennifer Allen

Melody Eliis

Kristen Kieffer

 

 

 

Extra! Extra! Read all about it, in the Casper Star Tribune!

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

On Friday The Casper Star Tribune featured a story on my show at Casper College. Margaret Matray called me to write the story and we had a lovely conversation. I had no idea that, that conversation was going to lead to a two page spread in the Casper Star. Holy Cow! I was blown away when I saw a copy of the paper. Living two and half hours from Casper it took several stops in Cheyenne before I could a copy. It was very exciting to open the paper in the store to see the gigantic story! Thank Margaret Matray for such an amazing article!

Here’s the story if you want to read it. And if you want to see the scoop on the Casper Star’s website make the jump here.

The Story Of Ceramics, Cheyenne Artists shares memories and secrets through clay.  by Margaret Matray

The phrases stamped into the cups, plates and vessels offer a glimpse into the mind of Connie Norman.The words read like whispers, as if she’s standing there sharing her secrets.

“PROMISE ME.”

“KISS SLOWLY.”

“FIND YOUR VOICE.”

The phrases repeat, stamped over and over again until they’re a block of text on the artwork. They read like a mantra.

“DON’T TAKE YOUR SECRETS TO YOUR GRAVE.”

And like fleeting thoughts.

“DOGS SHOULD BE ALLOWED IN RESTAURANTS AND STORES.”

A 48-piece exhibition of Norman’s work, now open through Sept. 20 at the Casper College Goodstein Art Gallery, showcases the Cheyenne artist’s ceramic cups, plates, bowls and vessels.  Although the pieces featured in “Words at Your Disposal” are functional, they all tell stories and draw on Norman’s personal experiences.

Norman’s exhibition is the first of seven shows to be displayed at the Goodstein Gallery this school year. Artists must submit proposals for consideration, and exhibitions can be booked as many as two years in advance, said gallery director. Norman previously exhibited at the Goodstein Gallery in 2006.

“Connie is consistently exploring new ideas in clay,” said Innella, art history and museum studies professor for Casper College’s Visual Arts Department. “… I think it’s really exciting when an artist is thinking about text as a form of communication through visual art, which is already a very potent form of communication.”

Norman’s work has been featured in exhibits nationally, including Strictly Functional Pottery National, Ceramics USA and the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. She has been featured on the cover of “Ceramics Monthly” and currently teaches sixth- and seventh-grade art at Carey Junior High School in Cheyenne.

Her interest in pottery came in high school. Six weeks before the end of senior year, Norman wanted out of her home economics class. Her friends were taking pottery, so she started hanging out in their class. Before school, after school and at lunch, Norman made pottery. She had made so many pieces by the end of the year, in fact, the teacher went to the principal to ask if Norman could get a full year’s credit.

She graduated from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, where her work took a turn. Norman intended to perfect her functional pottery but instead shifted to mixed-media sculpture. She used hay and found objects to build her work, which focused on women’s issues.

Married, out of college and with little money, Norman’s husband asked her one Christmas if she could make gifts that year.  “But we can’t give away that weird stuff that you make,” Norman remembered her husband saying.

She returned to functional pottery. At first, she experimented with words as texture and pattern. Norman said she’s always struggled with writing, but as her artwork evolved, she began infusing her ceramics with meaningful phrases. She’s worked in this style for nearly a decade.  “I wanted to make something beautiful that told stories,” Norman said.  Norman’s ceramics reflect her private thoughts and inner dialogue. The words she uses draw on memories, conversations she’s had and phrases she repeats to herself in times of joy or worry.

A large vessel in Norman’s show is split down the middle with a blue line. On the left the words “This is how much I remember” repeat over and over. On the right: “THIS IS HOW MUCH I FORGOT.”  The piece reflects on a time when Norman’s father was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.  “I was really kind of watching him lose what was going on in his world,” Norman said.  When her father died, the chaplain at the funeral asked Norman about her father’s military career. He had been retired for about 15 years at the time.  “I realized I had kind of forgotten his stories,” Norman said.  She made this piece: “IF WE DON’T TELL OUR STORIES NO ONE WILL KNOW.”

The vessel “Invisible strength” was inspired by Norman’s friend who had cancer. And the pieces that say “I’m so lucky” are about her 5-year-old son. Norman and her husband adopted him from Ethiopia. People tell them their son is lucky. Norman replies that she and her husband are the lucky ones; he makes the family complete.  “I try to pick phrases that are universal, that people can kind of bring their own meanings to,” Norman said.

Norman builds all of her pieces instead of throwing them, which means she doesn’t use a pottery wheel. She uses old letterpress type to stamp in her phrases, and the rest of Norman’s work is covered in color, shapes and lines.

A few vessels featured in the Casper show come from earlier years, but Norman made most of the pieces over the summer.  Although the school year has started, Norman finds time at night to work in her studio.

“I didn’t become a professional artist until I became a teacher,” Norman said. “It really inspired me to go home and do what I was preaching all day. There’s something about the energy of school that makes me go home and create.”

 

 

Miss July!

Monday, July 16th, 2012

I am the Miss July! July artist of the month that is, here in little ol’ Cheyenne, Wyoming. The organization Arts Cheyenne and our local paper the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle have been featuring the arts once a month. They have been featuring the visual arts, literary and the performing arts. It’s been nice to read about all the different artists we have in town. I’ve known most of the visual artists but not in performing or literary! If you want to see some of the other artists make the jump here. I really appreciate Arts Cheyenne recognizing the arts; it’s nice to know that we have art advocates here in Wyoming. If you know some great artists from our area that you think should be featured please go to this link to nominate them!

NCECA 2012

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

I had a great time in Seattle this year @ NCECA.  It rained everyday that we were there, but what do you expect it’s the North West in spring.   Here are a few of my many favorites from NCECA, I really had a hard time pairing down my pictures to these.

I got a surprise at the Ceramics Monthly booth, I was flipping through one of their books on pottery techniques; Surface, Glaze and Form, and I found my article from PMI in it.  I was such a thrill.  I ran up to the counter jumping up and
down!  I wish I could be more smooth.

Surface Glaze and Form: Ceramic Arts Handbook Series

On Friday of NCECA the Emerald City Comic Con invaded us, and by Saturday the Con was in full swing, it was extraordinary to see so many people in costume, I really wanted to stay for it as well.

Bat Man and Clay Girl

 

 

 

Ceramics Now Exhibition

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Several days ago, well it’s probably more like a few weeks ago now; the wonderful people of Ceramics Now sent me pictures from the reception of Ceramics Now Exhibition.  Although, I don’t know a soul in the photographs it was fantastic to see everyone enjoying themselves at the reception.  It looks like they had a great turnout.  I wish I could have been there.  I am very proud of Vasi Hirdo and his very ambitious staff getting the first edition of Ceramics Now off the ground.  Without further ado here are some of the pictures from the reception of the first Ceramics Now Exhibition.

Plus I got my hard copy of the Ceramics Now magazine the mail the other day.  I was very excited to see the magazine in print and hold it.  I was thrilled to see it as a digital magazine, but there is something to seeing it on paper.  Maybe my age is showing and I haven’t really caught up to the digital age.  Plus I love the stamps they used!!!

I started a Pinterest account!  So if you are so inclined please follow me and I’ll follow you.  I just figuring out Pinterest, so I hope I get it.

https://pinterest.com/connieknorman/

The first issue of Ceramics Now is now out!

Monday, December 5th, 2011

I am very pleased to announce the arrival of the newest ceramics magazine, Ceramics Now, from Cluj-Napoca, Romania.  I just got my digital copy and it looks impressive!  The staff at Ceramics Now has been working so tirelessly for months now.  They are featuring 40 different artists, ceramic artists: Claire Muckian, Carol Gouthro, Ian F. Thomas, Cynthia Lahti, Carole Epp, Simcha Even-Chen, Liza Riddle, Patrick Colhoun, Mark Goudy, Chang Hyun Bang, Ian Shelly, Shamai Gibsh, Margrieta Jeltema, John Shirley, Jim Kraft, Blaine Avery, Shane Porter, Antonella Cimatti, Maciej Kasperski, Wim Borst, Merete Rasmussen and I am so lucky to be one of the artists as well!

Right now I am so flattered to be included on their website and to be one of their featured artists in the first issue.

They are offering the magazine at a fantastic deal $15 dollars or $4.00 for a digital copy or you can subscribe for a year for $59 with free digital subscription.

Please make the jump to Ceramics Now to read an excerpt of my interview on their website. www.ceramicsnow.org Or better yet go become a subscriber to the magazine and read the entire article!

Thank you so much to Vasi Hirdo the editor and the rest of the staff!

Exposure in Ceramics Monthly for Table Manners

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I was very excited to hear that Ceramics Monthly decided to put my salt and pepper shakers in their Exposure section of this month’s magazine.  I’m in there with Kari Radasch  and Victoria Christen for the show Table Manners: Functional Pottery for the Table, a Feast for your eyes which is now at Lark and Key Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Thank you so much Erin Pfeifer!

A very cool first!!!

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

I got my October Ceramics Monthly the other day and I start flipping through it as I usually do when I get my copy.  Then I got the nicest surprise, I saw one of my vessels flip by.   Jonathan Kaplan and Dorothy Bensusan of Plinth Gallery included my piece, Stamina of Love in their ad for Plinth.  Thank you so much to Jonathan and Susan for putting my artwork in the ad and for representing me in their gallery.  This is a great way to start October to have my work included in my first gallery ad.  I hope it’s not my last!!!